Saturday, August 15, 2015

Catchin'

August 15, 2015—Carrabelle, Fla., is a small gulf-coast town on the Forgotten Coast. It is so small—or was so small—that in 1959 there was only one police officer. In the 1960’s, the force increased to two, and the police station was a call box bolted on a building at the intersection of two streets. Because the police would get soaked when it rained, the phone company finally built them a phone booth. It was recognized as the “World’s Smallest Police Station.” The phone booth still exists.
Carrabelle does not offer much in the way of fancy dining, but it offers great gulf fishing.
The old Carrabelle police station--the world's smallest police station.


We are located at HoHum RV Park just outside of the city limits. Our motorhome faces the gulf.
Yesterday, after checking the local charts to find out the best fishing times, and we hit the pier at 3 p.m. when the fish were supposed to be hungry. We had bought some frozen shrimp for bait. I baited my line, cast it, and within minutes I had a strike!

What did I catch? A shark! It was a black-tip. Although these sharks are edible, we unhooked it and threw it back in to grow up a bit more. (I may have seen its mother or father or big brother swimming in front of our coach last night. I saw the shark fin in the water, just yards off the beach.) I caught three or four fish yesterday. Jim caught one or two, I believe.
My first catch--a black-tipped shark!

Today, the charts again said the fish would feed between 3 and 5 p.m., so we headed to the pier. It was a catchin’ day, although the catches were not keepers. Almost every cast brought tugs on my line. The fish were very hungry, and we accommodated them. A few also accommodated us.
Altogether I caught about six or seven fish of various species, including a black sea bass (too small to keep), and an ocean catfish. Jim also caught a catfish and a couple other small fish. We were told that the catfish were “trash,” not worth keeping.

So we threw them back in.

Probably a mistake. I researched ocean catfish this evening. The species we caught was the hardhead catfish. You have to be careful when touching them, because they have poisonous spines (not fatal, just painful), but everything I read said that these fish are edible and have a mild flavor, similar to snook.

Last night, we also did some night fishing. We didn’t have much luck (we’ll try again this evening), but it was fun—made even more enjoyable as we watched fish jump and create a phosphorescent swirl in the water. The phosphorescence is created by the bioluminescence of tiny organisms in the water. Cool!

It is our last night here. In a few minutes, we will go out and fish for the last time. Who knows? Maybe we will even catch tomorrow’s dinner!

Tomorrow we pack it in and head home. Our vacation will be over, but we have resolved to come back here. It is just so relaxing!

Until later,

Your Reluctant RoVer,


Linda

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